Management of offenders needs to be looked into

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For bodies involved in the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements framework, anything less than a 100 per cent success rate is going to be viewed as total failure by the wider public.

After all, when the stakes are as high as rape, or other serious crimes, there can be no brushing failures aside as a one-off, or a blip.

And the impact on those victims could very well be further heightened by the knowledge that the perpetrator was at high risk of reoffending.

Of course no-one is for a moment suggesting that the case of Charlie White is being brushed aside – indeed, a serious case review has been launched as the result of him raping a 15-year-old weeks after being released from jail at the end of a prison sentence for sexually assaulting another young teen.

However, somewhere along the way, something has gone wrong if White was not only able to reoffend, but to do it again within a matter of weeks.

The police force works on MAPPA with the probation service, prison service, local authorities and housing associations to actively manage and monitor offenders.

And in a statement it said: ‘Hampshire Constabulary invests significant resources into the protection of the public and the management of offenders – including registered sex offenders. It is a duty we take very seriously.’

Rightly so.

But there has to be a line between the hang ’em and flog ’em brigade and the so-called ‘bleeding heart’ liberals who believe rehabilitation is the only way forward.

And how do you judge when someone is ready to go back into society? It is a very difficult task to get right and the price of getting it wrong is very steep. We can only hope lessons are learned – and acted upon.